The Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of History Department of History
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HIST3326 History of Modern Europe

Semester 1 (2019-2020)

Lecture TimeTuesday 10:30am-12:15am



Lecturer Noah SHUSTERMAN (

Teaching Assistant ZHOU Shuzhe

Course Description

This course will study the History of Europe during the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, a period known as “Modern Europe,” (as opposed to “Contemporary Europe,” which covers the late twentieth century up to the present day). Modern Europe differs from other periods in that the people who lived through it were conscious of their own modernity, and frequently commented on it and interrogated what it meant to live in a society where so much was changing so quickly. We will begin the course with the Europe that emerged in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars and the first wave of industrialization, and the rest of what historians call the “long nineteenth century” that lasted until 1914. Topics will include the rise of mass culture and consumer society; the social changes that led to the modern labor movement and the rise of Marxism; the intellectual and artistic reactions to modernity; colonization and its impacts on Europe and on Europeans’ self-understanding. From there, we will go to the “short twentieth century” – the period from 1914 to 1991 – and study the major traumas of the first half of the century, including WWI, the Russian Revolution, the rise of totalitarianism, World War II, and the Holocaust, before finishing with the cold war and the relative prosperity of Western Europe during the following decades. As the final phase of the course will cover a period of history which the students will consider to be distant history like the rest of the course, but which the professor remembers living through, it is at this point that he will be begin to feel very, very old.

Assessment & Assignments

Students will not need to purchase any textbooks for this course. There will, however, be readings for each week, available on-line. Most weeks this will entail one short text on the relevant developments in political and military; one journal article on a more specific aspect of the era; and one primary text. Assessment will be based on several short quizzes, one short research paper (~2,000 words), and a take-home exam. Students may also improve their grades by participating in in-class discussions.

Honesty in Academic Work

Attention is drawn to University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and to the disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations. Details may be found at

With each assignment, students will be required to submit a signed declaration that they are aware of these policies, regulations, guidelines and procedures.

  • In the case of group projects, all members of the group should be asked to sign the declaration, each of whom is responsible and liable to disciplinary actions, irrespective of whether he/she has signed the declaration and whether he/she has contributed, directly or indirectly, to the problematic contents.
  • For assignments in the form of a computer-generated document that is principally text-based and submitted via VeriGuide, the statement, in the form of a receipt, will be issued by the system upon students’ uploading of the soft copy of the assignment.

Assignments without the properly signed declaration will not be graded by teachers.

Only the final version of the assignment should be submitted via VeriGuide.

The submission of a piece of work, or a part of a piece of work, for more than one purpose (e.g. to satisfy the requirements in two different courses) without declaration to this effect shall be regarded as having committed undeclared multiple submissions. It is common and acceptable to reuse a turn of phrase or a sentence or two from one’s own work; but wholesale reuse is problematic. In any case, agreement from the course teacher(s) concerned should be obtained prior to the submission of the piece of work.

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